When I think of the off gird solar applications, one main sector that has tremendous
captive power requirement is telecommunications. With consistent fall in the average revenue
per user and a whopping 86% increase in the minutes of usage in the past decade,
India is one of the countries with increasing market competitionand highest number of MoU’s.
The numbers of operators have almost tripled in the last 3 years and there is a mad headed
competition to reduce the cost especially if theservices have to be made affordable to the sub
urban and rural areas. Rural teledensity improvement is possible only with low cost service.
With power contributing to 25% of total network cost, one of the key areas where
thetelecom providersare looking forward to reduce cost is energy. Unfortunately, poor
quality of grid supply in suburban and semirural areas and no grid supply at many rural
areas is increasing the energy cost for the telecom providers. 10% of telecom towers
in India have no power supply while almost 50% have less than 12 hours of grid supply.
Even in those 12 hours of grid supply there are problems of low voltage, single phasing and
fluctuations that necessitate the use of diesel genset round the clock. The increasing energy
cost, uncertain grid power and lower affordability of rural people is having a double warming
effect to the telecom service providers.
According to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), Close to 300000 towers
in India consume more than 2 billion liters of Diesel every year generating 5.4 million
Tons of CO2. The increasing diesel prices and the mounting pressure of minimizingcarbon
offset makes diesel based captive power a less viable option in long run.
Solar PV based captive power would be the ideal solution for the telecom service providers.
They have many advantages that would favor them for incorporating solar energy to power
Huge energy savings are possible by use of Solar Diesel hybrid (65% savings) as compared
to relatively less savings by use of biomass power (29% savings). Also there is a possible 40%
reduction in site maintenance expenditure for the companies who install solaras compared to
the use of diesel genset. With the use of batteries it is even possible topower the towers during
the night time and effective diesel usage hours can be reduced to as low as 8 hours per day.
The huge existing tower base that require captive power and further network expansion
by service providers who promise to offer seamless network coverage makes it easy for
solar to penetrate into the telecom industry very soon. Most of the towers that need off grid
power are located at a place where there are no space limitations and this makes solar PV
as an ideal choice. Also, network uptime can be managed in difficult hilly and terrain regions
with the use of solar power.The telecom towers are also expected to scale up by another one
lakh next year and it is important to note that the newer telephone towers are being installed
based on a new technology that will consume less power and also do away with the air conditioning
so critical to the telephone towers. For the newer towers, where air conditioning is not a requisite,
it makesmore sense to use solar power, especially where the EB electricity is not available for
The 5% soft loan and 30% capital subsidy would obviously attract telecom service providers
to opt solar power. Also, 90% capital subsidy by NSM in remote areas & special category states
and TelecommunicationsUniversal Service Obligation’s funding for the use of renewable energy
in remote areas will increase the market adoption of solar for telecommunication industry.
Captive solar is possibly the best way to increase rural footprint of telecom service providers
at an affordable cost, thereby improving the rural community access to communication. Certain
telecom service providers have realized this and initiatives have been planned for no grid and
poor grid regions. If successful proof of concept is available and telecom service
providers are able to reduce the network operation cost, it will increase the market
penetration of solar PV for captive power in the telecom industry.
SOROTEC is committed to the communications industry for decades and has a complete and efficient solar base station solution. Provide users with reliable power protection, while greatly improving the return on investment of users.
SOROTEC Soalr powered telecom base station(BTS)-SHW48500
the monitor module and PV MPPT module, wind power module, rectifier module, distribution frame (or cabinet) composed of communication power supply system, power supply system to achieve the man-machine interface operation, system status monitoring, data upload,
intelligent battery management module and automatic energy saving management.
SHW48500 monitoring module provides RS232/RS485, network port, dry contact and many other communication interfaces. It is flexible in networking and can realize remote monitoring and widely used in 4G& 5G telecom base station(BTS).